Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino is attracting interest from Atletico Madrid, according to reports in Spain.
Firmino has endured a difficult couple of seasons at Anfield, despite retaining his status as a member of their famous front three. He only scored one Premier League goal at home last season and his role in the team has come under threat this season from summer signing Diogo Jota.
Overall, Liverpool’s attacking unit has not been as effective this season. There has been a lot of focus on their defensive absentees, but the reduced output from Firmino and co. has also been a factor in their title defence failing.
Hence, there have been rumours that Liverpool are looking to alter their options up front for next season. They have been linked with some big names like Kylian Mbappe, but would probably have to sell to make room for a player of that price.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane could make way, as they could still have a chance to play for someone like Real Madrid. But now, Firmino is being linked with a move to the Spanish capital as well.
According to El Gol Digital, Real’s rivals Atletico are looking at Firmino. Their manager Diego Simeone reportedly likes his playing style.
Atleti have been looking for a new striker for a number of months. For example, they wanted Alexandre Lacazette from Arsenal before the start of the season and those links are resurfacing now.
After Diego Costa bid farewell to the club as a free agent, Atleti’s need for a new striker has only increased. Firmino could fit in nicely at the Wanda Metropolitano.
The report from El Gol Digital describes Firmino as an “ultra powerful option” due to his ability to play between the lines.
Firmino to swap with Suarez?
Another reason Atletico are looking at Firmino is because they are fearful of losing Luis Suarez in the opposite direction.
Reports recently claimed that Suarez could make a sensational return to Liverpool, where he previously had a three-and-a-half year stint. He scored 82 goals in 133 games for Liverpool before leaving for Barcelona in 2014.
Now, though, he could be in line to return to Merseyside. He could be the man to restore “dominance” to their attack, according to Fichajes.
The report from El Gol Digital acknowledges this and admits Atletico have concerns. Suarez has been very important since joining them in the summer, but a clause in his contract could see him walk away.
Should they lose him to Liverpool, Atletico could try to get something in return – Firmino.